Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

RENE LOPEZ

E.L.S.

2011-12-16

Rene Lopez is a Nuyorican with Latin roots. His Puerto Rican father played trumpet with two New York Latino bands. Rene began playing drums before he could read. After growing up on salsa, he discovered Prince and the guitar. In the 90s Rene was the lead singer for The Authority, a New York rock band. Title track “E.L.S.” announces this is electric Latin soul and establishes his skill at percussion with drums and bongos…but the panning back and forth with the timbales at the end of the song is unnecessary. “I Flow” has a high energy vibe with a lot of instruments and is easy on the ears. "L2 the Boogaloo" is a tune that mixes hip hop electronics with Latin undertones. Uptempo “Feeling Something Good” is an infectious tune. “Everything We Do” has a nice slow cha-cha pace with great horn section and saxophone highlights. “Shing-a-Ling Is What I Bring” – well put-together lyrics with bright melody, bridge and chorus. This one will make you want to grab your partner and dance! “Moonfeather” – this laid-back story-song grew on me the more I listened to it as it is so different from the rest of the album—it definitely should be played for a smile. E.L.S. combines Latin salsa, R&B, blues, rock, and hip-hop electronica into a style Rene has dubbed Electric Latin Soul—we’ll have to see if that acronym sticks. Recommended tracks: “I Flow,” “L2 the Boogaloo,” and “Shing-a-Ling.” - Pam VandeKerkhoff

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